Comment: 12 days to become a business for good

Businesses can use 2019 to make a positive impact, says Social Good HQ's Caroline McKenna. Picture: Contributed
Businesses can use 2019 to make a positive impact, says Social Good HQ's Caroline McKenna. Picture: Contributed
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It’s the time of year for reflection. The holiday season tends to be when we pop a penny in the tin of the good causes we support and sign up for that fitness fundraiser – after consuming that final mince pie, of course!

But what about your business? Do you reflect on, and understand, the impact that your business has made through its charitable giving, and how it could be made better and bigger next year? If not, you’re not alone.

At Social Good HQ, we have worked with many businesses who do a good job in supporting local charities, but this tends to be very ad-hoc and deliver minimal impact. With 57 per cent of UK customers expecting businesses to be involved in solving social problems, according to a Cone EE study, and 87 per cent of businesses saying social good activity had a positive impact on their company’s reputation, according to the Charities Aid Foundation, a strategic approach is critical.

Here are our “12 days of business giving advice” to help your business make a more positive impact in 2019:

- First: consider your brand and purpose. What do you do and who do you help? What does your organisation stand for?

- Second: look at the global UN Sustainable Development Goals and choose a goal and target to focus on for the next three years.

- Third: involve your team, engage them in a workshop to choose the goal that will be your focus.

- Fourth: agree on the goal that will deliver a positive change to society.

- Fifth: find charitable organisations that match your goal. Connect with them and complete any due diligence.

- Sixth: deliver your activity, financial giving or giving of time.

- Seventh: get your team involved. What can they do that will work towards that one social goal, fundraising events, or working with the organisations?

- Eighth: measure the impact of your work by asking your chosen charitable organisation how were they helped and what difference has been made as a result.

- Ninth: review your activity. What can you do next year to make a bigger difference?

- Tenth: measure the benefit to your business. Do you have engaged staff, loyal customers, increased sales and better quality recruitment applications?

- Eleventh: communicate your impact. Create an annual impact report that can be shared with staff, customers and the wider community.

- Twelfth: celebrate being a business that does good and prepare to do it all again next year!

Caroline McKenna is chief executive at Social Good HQ